Nest Doesn't Want You to Notice Its New Smart Thermostat

Nest's New Thermostat Is Just Like the Original, Only Cheaper

Starting with the redesign, Nest has changed the look of the thermostat by making it simpler and more subtle. And the Google-owned company did it with a Learning Thermostat that costs three times as much as comparable digital home climate control devices.

The Nest Thermostat E is available on www.nest.com for $169 Dollars, as well as from leading retailers and energy partners. It comes with a preset schedule to help you get started out of the box, but it's capable of learning your comings and goings and adjusting the temperature accordingly, just like the Learning Thermostat. Or you can let the thermostat itself learn patterns and work out the best schedule to save you money on bills.

Besides looking less fancier and less prettier than its predecessor, the new Thermostat E pretty much packs in all the capabilities you'd come to expect on a smart thermostat. The original Nest Thermostat is estimated to work with 95 percent of homes.

Nest's New Thermostat Is Just Like the Original, Only Cheaper
Nest Doesn't Want You to Notice Its New Smart Thermostat

The Nest Thermostat E launches today for $169 and will be sold alongside the standard Learning Thermostat at its usual $249 price point. To that end, it also drops some of its nice extras: it won't be moonlighting as a clock in its downtime, for starters, and while it still works with 85% of USA households, a pruning of the wiring means that's a 10% decline from the third generation Nest.

The only feature that the Thermostat E won't have that Nest's higher-end thermostat has is a feature called "farsight", which lets the thermostat tell when you're across the room and then turn on its display to show you the time or temperature.

When I asked Veron why Nest's "cheaper" thermostat still costs $169, he said that's just what it costs to build a Nest-quality product. In fact, they considered doing so: Veron describes long meetings in which he and the rest of the Nest product team went over every feature on the device and asked, what can we get rid of to make this cheaper? And as an Internet-connected gadget, you can control Nest E using the company's mobile app, which is available for Android and iOS. That includes support for Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant, though users of Apple's HomeKit platform are still out of luck. This can be easily managed directly from the Nest app. It's ENERGY STARⓇ certified and expected to save between $131 and $145 a year per the results of an internal Nest study and two independent studies of the previous model.

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